Warning – graphic and gross.
As a single parent, I’m used to doing it all, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be for both of us to be sick at the same time – the night before a flight! My excuse for being unprepared is that aside from Roseola when she was tiny, and a couple of sniffles/coughs, she’s never been sick. She’s never been on antibiotics. I keep kids Advil in the house for the occasional fever or leg pains, peppermint and tea tree oil, along with a thermometer and bandaids. That’s our medicine cabinet. I had a bad headache recently, and had to get an Excedrin from our next door neighbor.
Then this happened.
At about 8pm on Tuesday Ebi started throwing up. She had just gorged on veggie lasagne, so at first I thought she had just eaten too much, and was rejecting it. But then it happened, again, and again, and again. Then I started having brutal nausea and diarrhea. By about 2am she was throwing up bile every 15 minutes, and I knew I couldn’t call 911 so I took her to a 24 hour urgent care center to see a doctor. She threw up in the waiting room, and I was shaky and panting like I was in labor from the nausea. A nurse took Ebi’s vitals and put us in a room, where she promptly fell asleep on the table as I paced, and puffed, and tried not to shit my pants.
The doctor reassured me that Ebi was ok, just dehydrated, and wrote a prescription to stop her from throwing up anymore. She told me to get some kaopectate, and some pedialyte. The nurses gave her a lollypop, and she sat with them while I used their washroom for the third time. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get us home, let alone drive to a 24 hour pharmacy in the next town to get the prescription filled.
When we got back in the van, Ebi grabbed the ice water, and even though I told her to take a small sip, she downed it. I was sure that she’d throw it up while I was driving, and made her hold a container in her lap. Instead, she started improving, while I got worse. We made it to the pharmacy, and got home at 4:30 in the morning. She would only take half a dose of the horrid tasting medicine and wanted nothing to do with the Pedialyte. She was asleep by 5am, but we were supposed to go to the airport at 10am!!
When I woke up a few hours later, I messaged my friend who was going to drive us to the airport, and she came right over with charcoal capsules and chewable anti-nausea pills for me. My mom rescheduled our flight, and I spent the entire day in bed, only getting up to feed Ebi and make sure she wasn’t watching anything inappropriate on Netflix.
What did I learn from this ordeal?
I need to stock a few more essentials in the medicine cabinet. In the same way that flight attendants say that an adult must put on her own oxygen mask before helping the child on with hers, I have to be able to treat my symptoms so I can care for my little one. I also need someone on my speed dial who can help me in a situation like this when my parents are out of town.
What are your medicine cabinet essentials?
I’m making a list and I’d really like to know.